Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. ~Genesis 2:19 NIV
As with anything I speak on or write about, I want you to know that I never feel I’ve “arrived”, or that I have this area perfected in my life. I most often speak or write on topics or Scripture that God is highlighting in my life to help me grow and mature as a believer. I especially feel this way about today’s devotion. Its come out of some very challenging circumstances in my life and I’m thankful that until we draw our last breath… God isn’t finished with us yet!
Years before I became a mom, I picked out names for my kids.
For a boy, I wanted Brandon because I’d only known one other Brandon, a sweet adorable boy in my Sunday School class. By the time I had a son and given him the name Brandon, the Beverly Hills 90210 series had been released and was flooding our TV sets with the story of Brandon and Brenda Walsh. The name became associated with one of the coolest kids in North America, but it was no longer unique.
I wanted the name Shelby for a daughter because of a spunky girl that sometimes came out to the youth group I pastored. Seeing my kids now as grown, young adults I think I named them well.
Cool would definitely describe my Brandon and spunky is an understatement for my Shelby!
Today’s verse shows how God gave Adam the ability and authority to name all the animals and birds. Scripture says, “whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.”
The reality is that God has given each of us the ability and authority to place names on things.
Seriously, you are that powerful 🙂 Parents give their children a sense of identity by what they recorded on the birth certificate. Your first or given name helps you identify with who you are personally, and your last name brings a connection with your family identity.
I wish this was the only way names were placed on people, just a one-time event at birth but sadly that’s never the case. Throughout your life; parents, teachers, bosses or even people in the checkout line are making statements about you; some kind, some loving… some harassing, negative or cruel. Every word spoken has the potential to place a name on you. Sometimes people aren’t even trying to bring hurt but misguided words, insecurities or past hurt can leave your heart open to receiving names that were never intended for you.
I want to encourage you that you’re not stuck with a name.
One day God is going to give each of us a new name1 but before that happens, names can be changed. There are lots of examples in the Bible of people’s names being changed that changed the trajectory of their lives. Today, it takes a lot of work, but you can even have your name legally changed by the government. With work you can change the name label that’s been placed over you by others… or even if you’ve self-labeled.
I also want to warn you.
Be careful with your words. Sensitive ears are all around us, often attached to our own heads. As much as possible, talk in a way that uplifts, builds up and honors not using insults, criticism and heckling. Remember how proverbs teaches that gracious, kind words are like honey; they’re “sweet to the soul”2 and “healing for the body”.3
Father…I’m thankful you have a special name for me because you know me more than anyone on this earth. Help me to make You the source of my worth, confidence and identity. I ask You to bring revelation to where I’ve accepted names you never meant to characterize my life so I can reject and eradicate them from my thoughts. I chose to come in agreement with and commit to speaking the names you place over me. In Jesus Name…Amen
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If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
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- Genesis 2:19
- Isaiah 62:2
- Psalm 19:14
- Ephesians 4:29
- Revelations 2:17
- Proverbs 16:24 NLT
- Proverbs 16:24 ISV